Jul 8, 2022

07/07/2022 – Timber Construction presents itself as a Future Technology at the Stallwächterparty in Berlin

In an attempt to showcase the work of researchers to a wider public, digitize wood along with IntCDC and Holzbau-Offensive BW took part in the Stallwächterparty on July 7 in Berlin and presented a demonstration of modern timber construction, with the mobile robot platform "TIM - Timber Platform for Robotic Construction" and the exhibition stand "Fancy Fence" made of stacked wooden slats.

Wooden tables for the evening

Using the robotic platform designed for mobile use and pre-production of wooden building elements, the team made a wooden table that evening to match the stand. The already prefabricated tables not only served as bar tables for the guests during the champagne reception, but also as lecterns for the Baden-Württemberg Minister President Winfried Kretschmann, State Secretary Rudi Hoogvliet and Thomas Strobel, Deputy Minister President and Minister of the Interior, for their welcoming speeches.

The Robot in Detail

Researchers gave an additional axis to the 6-axis Robot by mounting it on a linear axis, allowing it therefore to move between more than one applications.

During the demonstrations, the robot ran on a slower mode than in industries for safety reasons. It was managed by researchers through the use of a control unit. Dr. Felix Amtsberg, a researcher at IntCDC, and Hans-Jakob Wagner, a research associate at IntCDC, were both very proficient in controlling it and programming it to take prepared laths, place them precisely on top of each other, and fix them together with wooden nails.

In fact, one of the different functions of the end effector was that of a vacuum gripper. It repetitively took the laths and located them in the referenced place. After the placement, the end effector would change its function to one of nailing. Hard-wood nails were used as lanyards between the wooden sticks.

The use of the end effector wouldn’t be possible without The Institute for Control Engineering of Machine Tools and Manufacturing Units (ISW), Universität Stuttgart, (ISW). In fact, Alexander Verl and Benjamin Kaiser, both from ISW, were jointly responsible for the planning of the entire plant and Benjamin Kaiser for the integration of the end effector for the 6axis robot arm.

Teamwork Human-Machine Interaction

The set-up was prepared by the exhibition team with the support of the robotic arm. The monitor weighed more than 200kg and had to be carried and placed by the robot arm. It was a successful robot-human interaction proving that some tasks could be better achieved when humans work alongside robots.

Paradigm Shift in Production Processes

Through this demonstration, one can see how innovative automation and digitization strategies and technologies from other branches of industry can be further developed for the special requirements of timber construction.

The bigger aim behind this demonstrator is to transfer the potential of Industry 4.0 to robotic prefabrication in timber construction and to develop new production processes that will trigger a paradigm shift.

Self-Shaping Wood – a Piece of High Technology for Takeaway

Another highlight was the raffle of 300 cell phone holders made of self-shaping wood using the anisotropic and hygroscopic characteristics of wood to perform a controlled deformation. In fact, the fibers found in wood have the natural capacity to shrink or expand depending on the surrounding humidity. Wood can therefore change shape at large scales allowing therefore for self-shaping manufacturing processes.

As a research associate at IntCDC, Laura Kiesewetter, Co-founder of Hylo Tech, uses this technology to develop self-shaping furniture, high performance building components and adaptive systems.

For the Stallwächterparty, she designed mobile phone holders that will self-shape after being unwrapped from their vacuum packaging. During the event, a tombola was organized where it was possible for guests to win these phone holders and have a closer interaction with more detailed explanation from the researchers.

"A great evening for us," cluster spokesman Prof. Achim Menges summed up the event. "Our presentation was an impressive showcase of state-of-the-art technology used in timber construction and it enabled us to send a strong message supporting timber construction at this event."

This all happened at the 57th Stallwächterparty - the political summer party of the Baden-Württemberg State Representation in Berlin - around 50 companies and research institutions from Baden-Württemberg presented future technologies under the motto "The Länd - Transformation Innovation Inventions" on July 7, 2022. Among them was the Cluster of Excellence Integrative Computational Design and Construction for Architecture (IntCDC) at the University of Stuttgart. In cooperation with Holzbau-Offensive BW, the platform digitize wood and BEC, IntCDC presented digital planning and production of modern timber construction. The event was attended by approximately1,500 guests from politics, media, culture, the business sector, and the general public.


Partners und Sponsors

Cluster of Excellence IntCDC

The University of Stuttgart established the new Cluster of Excellence "Integrative Computational Design and Construction for Architecture" (IntCDC) in 2019. With an initial funding period of seven years, a Cluster of Excellence is the most significant and extensive funding program provided by the German Research Foundation (DFG). For the first time, a cluster of excellence has been awarded in the field of architecture. This will help establish an internationally visible research center.

Holzbau-Offensive BW

Baden-Württemberg is setting an example. With the Holzbau-Offensive, the state government is promoting climate-friendly timber construction. The project includes effective measures and targeted impulses for sustainable development in the construction sector. The goal is to establish Baden-Württemberg as a trendsetter for climate-friendly building culture.


BEC is a leading specialist in human-robot collaboration in the fields of industry, medical technology and entertainment. BEC helped with the production of the Robot´s end effector.


Since 1964, the summer party for those who "stand guard" during the parliamentary summer recess has traditionally been held at the Baden-Württemberg State Representation in Berlin. Today, the Stallwächterparty represents the diversity of the state and has become one of the most important communication platforms of the political summer in Berlin. 

Sägewerk Echtle KG

Echtle is specialized in quality wood made from silver fir and spruce. Echtle sponsored the wood material that went to the tables and the roof laths.


Lignotrend is a medium-sized supplier of cross laminated timber products for timber construction and interior design companies. Lignotrend sponsored the wooden slats used for the tables.


The Deutsche Säge- und Holzindustrie Bundesverband sponsored the give-aways -the mobile phone holders.

The Institute for Control Engineering of Machine Tools and Manufacturing Units (ISW), University of Stuttgart

The Institute for Control Engineering of Machine Tools and Manufacturing Units (ISW) of the University of Stuttgart has helped in the design of the end-effector.

digitize wood is based at the Cluster of Excellence IntCDC at the University of Stuttgart and is funded by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Food, Rural Areas and Consumer Protection (MLR) as part of the BW Timber Construction Initiative.